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Illinois Rail Needs Assessment Study:  Illinois is the single largest hub of the North American rail system, and rail transportation plays a critical role in supporting the state’s economy. The state rail network is large, complex, and comprised of numerous stakeholders with a wide variety of needs. The goal of the Illinois Rail Needs Assessment (ILRNA) is to assess the current conditions of the Illinois rail network and identify issues that may impact the quality of rail services now and in the future.

The ILRNA is a component of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) long-range transportation planning process and forms the basis for the next update to the Illinois State Rail Plan in 2022. It enables IDOT to develop and implement the targeted long-range policies, goals, strategies, and investments needed to meet the State’s Passenger Rail and Freight Rail visions articulated in the 2012 Illinois State Rail Plan and reaffirmed in 2017.  This study can be accessed here.

2023 Illinois State Rail Plan Update: The 2023 Illinois State Rail Plan (Rail Plan) is an update of the prior Illinois State Rail Plan that was completed in 2017. The Rail Plan is consistent with the federal rail plan requirements from the 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act and the Federal Railroad Administration State Rail Plan Guidance of 2013. The Rail Plan presents existing and future passenger and freight rail services in Illinois. It also formulates a State of Illinois (State) vision describing the role of passenger and freight rail services in Illinois and illustrates what these services will look like in the future.


2017 Illinois State Rail Plan Update: The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking input on its 2017 Illinois State Rail Plan Update which was developed in accordance with Section 5 of the Transportation Act and the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA).  The Plan explores the current passenger and freight rail infrastructure in Illinois, ways the system can be improved, new possible routes, and what IDOT can do to further connections between rail and other modes.  

Illinois has the second largest rail system in the nation, second only to Texas.  Illinois is the center of the nation's rail network, and Chicago represents the largest U.S. rail hub in North America.  The 2017 Illinois State Rail Plan Update's system highlights include the Chicago-St. Louis high speed rail corridor, the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program, and a number of station improvements. 

2012 Illinois State Rail Plan